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Shopping-Cart 101: The Basics

Simple integration with popular e-commerce systems.

What are they?

Simply put, an electronic shopping cart is a software resource that acts as a bridge for consumers who purchase items online. They can be sold as independent pieces of software for integration into a custom solution, or offered as a feature of a larger service that will host a company's e-commerce site.

Why are they needed?

With more and more people doing most of their product research and purchasing online, small businesses need to establish an online presence that includes e-commerce functionality to stay competitive.

Things for a merchant to consider

When considering an e-commerce shopping cart solution, merchants must evaluate how well the cart meets their needs.

They should ensure that the solution is: economical to fit within their budget, flexible enough to grow as they grow and able to integrate with secure payment gateways such as Velocity. Many open-source e-commerce platforms fit these criteria and are free or have an affordable pricing option offering a combination of features at a nominal cost. Plus, most platforms are customizable, scalable, and offer a large support community consisting of developers and partners ready to assist merchants that are new to the solution.

How to decide?

A decision to join the online marketplace may be a simple decision for your merchant. Choosing the right platform could be challenging. To help you assist your merchants in understanding some of their options, we have outlined six of the top open-source platforms below. All of these options are compatible with Velocity via plugins. Still not sure? Feel free to contact us, and we can guide you to the best solution for your merchant.

Magento (Community Edition)


Pros

  • Most popular platform
  • Community Edition offers many of the same features as Magento Enterprise edition at no additional cost
  • Excusive features not found with other open source platforms, i.e. multiple stores, languages, different currencies
  • Works with many plugins and extensions making platform flexible and infinitely scalable

Cons

  • Difficult to navigate through because community is so big
  • Training could be time-consuming with so many features
  • No technical support for Community Edition, so answers must be found in user community forum

Integration Instructions

PrestaShop


Pros

  • Over 250,000 stores using platform and 600,000 community members
  • Easy to install and customize
  • Intuitive design
  • Features cross-selling, product export to shopping search engines, one-page checkout, shipping discounts, and much more
  • Supports fully hosted or self-hosted version (both free)

Cons

  • Limited customization
  • Minimal leeway with graphic elements

Integration Instructions

OpenCart


Pros

  • Popular for businesses without programming experience
  • Simple to use
  • Plugins offer flexibility
  • Server-friendly
  • Easily manage multiple stores from one computer
  • Directory has over 2,700 themes
  • Active community of users

Cons

  • Simplicity limits how much you get out of it compared to others
  • Possible compatibility issues because of reliance on plugins

Integration Instructions

ZenCart


Pros

  • Support Community has 150,000 members and 200,000 threads
  • Product management system allows you to control inventory, create, etc.
  • Offers a number of templates

Cons

  • System slows when a large number of products are added. Not recommended for businesses with large volumes
  • Not visually appealing

Integration Instructions

WooCommerce


Pros

  • Leading Open Source platform for WordPress
  • Rapidly growing user community
  • Seamless integration with WordPress
  • Mobile friendly
  • Brands can create a mobile app for their storefront

Cons

  • Limited to WordPress
  • Must pay for extensions

Integration Instructions

Drupal/ UberCart


Pros

  • Popular with the Drupal community with 47,000 installations
  • For complex configurations
  • Viable solution for Drupal content management platforms
  • Handle complex, and subscription-based payment models
  • Flexible via third-party plugins and extensions

Cons

  • Limited to Drupal
  • Older than Drupal Commerce, but has a solid customer base

Integration Instructions


Educate Yourself

Articles on the features and benefits of NAB Velocity services.


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